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Rule 8. Interviews of Applicants and Selection of Nominees

Arizona Revised Statutes AnnotatedUniform Rules of Procedure for Commissions on Appellate and Trial Court Appointments

Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated
Uniform Rules of Procedure for Commissions on Appellate and Trial Court Appointments (Refs & Annos)
17C A.R.S. App. and Tr.Ct.Appointments Comm.Unif. Rules of Proc., Rule 8
Formerly cited as AZ ST A AND TRIAL CT APPT Rule 9
Rule 8. Interviews of Applicants and Selection of Nominees
a. Public Notice and Comment: Names of applicants selected for interview and the date, place and time of the Commission meeting to interview applicants shall be widely disseminated to the public. The public, the judiciary and bar associations shall be invited to provide comments regarding these applicants. Comments about applicants should be made, if feasible, at least three (3) working days before the interview meeting as follows: (1) in writing to the Judicial Nominating Commission for distribution by staff to the Commission, or (2) verbally or by written or electronic means to the Commissioners.
b. Investigation of Applicants Selected for Interviews: The Commission shall further evaluate selected applicants by contacting as many individuals, community groups and other sources as deemed reasonable to obtain information about the applicants' life experiences, community activities and backgrounds. Commissioners shall encourage sources to allow their names to be disclosed to the Commission, the applicant and the public, but may accept comments about an applicant from a source that requests confidentiality as to the other Commissioners, the applicant and/or the public if the Commissioner believes it is in the public's best interest accept such comments.
When a source provides a negative opinion about an applicant's character, fitness or competency, the Commissioner shall ask the source to provide a detailed factual basis for that opinion. The Commissioner shall also ask for the names and contact information of others who might have knowledge about the opinion. The Commissioner shall contact any individual identified to ask about the applicant's character, fitness or competency.
c. Communication with Applicants: Nothing in this rule prohibits the Chair of the Commission or staff from contacting an applicant when the Chair determines that such contact is in the best interests of the Commission, the applicant or the public.
d. Interview Meeting
1. General: Each Commission shall meet for the purpose of interviewing selected applicants in order to compile a list of nominees to be forwarded to the Governor. The Commission shall schedule sufficient time prior to the interview of each applicant to discuss and evaluate each applicant's qualifications and to determine whether any matter should be raised with the applicant during the interviews. Each Commissioner shall disclose comments and other information relied on to evaluate each applicant. If confidentiality has been promised to a source, Commissioners should consider whether less weight should be given to that source's information. The Commission may hold an executive session upon a majority vote of Commissioners in attendance to promote open and frank discussion of applicant qualifications. The substance of deliberations in executive session shall not be disclosed.
2. Public Comment: Members of the public are invited to briefly comment orally at the screening meeting. The Chair shall allocate equal time at the screening meeting for relevant comment on each applicant. The Chair may terminate comments which exceed the time allocated or which are irrelevant to the qualifications of applicants. The Chair may also limit duplicative comments regarding an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to invite no more than two (2) speakers to comment on their behalf.
3. Opinion comments: Negative opinions that are not supported with a factual basis or a second source shall not be disclosed at the Commission meeting. If supported and disclosed, the supporting information must also be disclosed.
4. Anonymous comments: Information from an anonymous source shall not be considered by any Commissioner or shared with any other Commissioner or the Commission at any point in the screening process.
5. Conduct of Interviews: Selected applicants shall be publicly interviewed by Commissioners. The Chair shall admonish the public in attendance not to disclose the interview questions or candidate answers until the conclusion of all interviews. A Commissioner may question an applicant about comments made about the applicant for which confidentiality has been requested so long as the source of comment is not identified. Upon motion and a majority vote of the Commission, a portion of the interview may occur in executive session unless, after given a choice, the interviewee elects to remain in public session.
6. Deliberations of the Commission: At the conclusion of the interviews, the Chair shall invite further discussion among the Commissioners about applicants. To the extent possible, no material and adverse information about an applicant that a Commissioner knows before the interview may be disclosed to the Commission after the interview occurs. The Commission may hold an executive session upon a majority vote to promote open and frank discussion regarding the qualifications of applicants interviewed. The substance of deliberations in executive session shall not be disclosed.
7. Selection of Nominees for Submission to the Governor: All voting by each Commission on the number of nominees to be forwarded to the Governor and on the applicants nominated shall be in public session. The Chair shall invite Commissioners to nominate applicants interviewed to be placed on a tentative list of those to be nominated to the Governor. Such a nomination requires the concurrence of one additional Commissioner. The name of each applicant who receives a vote of the majority of Commissioners voting shall be placed on the tentative list. Following this procedure, with or without an executive session or sessions, the tentative list of nominees may be added to or subtracted from by public vote until a final list of nominees is determined. The above process may be repeated until the resulting list of nominees satisfies constitutional requirements and is approved for referral to the Governor by a public vote of the Commission. The Commission may vary these procedures at its discretion.


Added on an expedited basis Dec. 14, 2016, effective Dec. 14, 2016. Added on a permanent basis April 27, 2017, effective April 27, 2017.
17C A. R. S. App. and Tr.Ct.Appointments Comm.Unif. Rules of Proc., Rule 8, AZ ST A AND TRIAL CT APPT Rule 8
State Court Rules are current with amendments received and effective through March 15, 2023. The Code of Judicial Administration is current with amendments received through March 15, 2023.
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